IMPACT
06/07/2013 07:31 pm ET | Updated Jun 12, 2013

'One Million Bones' Exhibit On National Mall Raises Awareness For Genocide (VIDEO)

Art and activism collide in a poignant "mass grave" display of more than 1 million handmade human bones in Washington, D.C.

"One Million Bones," featuring pieces made from clay, plaster and other materials, serves as a call to end genocide and mass atrocities, artist Naomi Natale says.

The exhibit is on display Saturday, June 8 through Monday, June 10 at the National Mall. Volunteers, including students, artists and humanitarian activists, are laying the bones Saturday.

In an advocacy video for the project, Desmond Tutu points out the significance of the bones.

"The symbol of the bone attests to the impermanence of life," he said. "But I believe they embody so much more. Bones are evidence of a unique individual journey -- each moment of hope and happiness, each dream and passion, each struggle experienced in a lifetime. But also the evidence of a collective journey, the stories shared and the human experience."

Tutu also points out that the grave serves as a reminder of those whose stories have been lost in places such as Sudan, Germany and the former Yugoslavia and reminds people of the collective responsibility to be one another's keeper.

“Each individual’s humanity is inextricably linked to one another’s. We must raise each other up or else we all sink down.”

The art display is also raising money for anti-genocide efforts. The Bezos Family Foundation matched each bone created by students with a $1 donation to support the work of CARE in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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